One of the most challenging things about cats can be simply cohabitating with them. The phrase “this is why we can’t have nice things” comes to mind for many of us when we see the claw marks and hair everywhere (and we really mean everywhere). But fear not! There are things you can do to cope. You can have a cat and nice things if you choose them wisely and plan ahead.
Ditch the Carpet
No carpet on your floors means no carpet for kitty to sharpen her claws on! Whenever possible, steer away from having carpeted floors when you have cats. Wood, tile, and laminate floors are much harder for felines to destroy. You won’t need to vacuum, but we recommend a floor duster to catch the odd flurries of cat hair that may develop in corners.
Remember that Everything is a Stepping Stone
If there is something valuable hanging on your wall or ceiling, avoid placing bookshelves or tables directly beneath it. To a cat, every surface in your home is merely a launch pad to the next highest surface. Place decorative shelves high up on the wall or keep decorative items in display cabinets with glass doors for safekeeping.
Hide the Litter Box
Litter boxes are a necessary evil that comes with cat ownership. There are many decorative options out there for hidden cat privies that look like expensive furniture. Some look like cabinets or benches, and others as faux plants. These covered cat pans keep odors (and litter) neatly tucked away, which is always a bonus. Decorative litter boxes are also an excellent choice for those of us that cohabitate with cats in small spaces, as it is often impossible to find an out of the way place for the potty.
Choose Durable and Washable Items
Choosing furniture and rugs that are washable and durable will save you time and a lot of heartache. Rugs designed for indoor/outdoor use that you can toss in the washing machine are ideal for the occasional “oopsie” that you know is going to happen. Indoor/outdoor rugs tend to survive a little bit of clawing as well. When choosing chairs or sofas, consider microfiber. The material is durable and easy to clean. Another thing to keep an eye out for when choosing a cat-friendly sofa is one with removable cushions. If one cushion becomes soiled (no idea how that happened!), it’s much easier to remove and clean than dealing with cleaning the entire piece of furniture.
Use Pre-Treatments to Avoid Future Disasters
All pet owners need to coat their entire homes in ScotchGuard carpet treatment before anything else is done. This magical product prevents liquids from soaking into the fabric of your furniture or deep into the padding of your carpets. It also makes stains lift easier, and who doesn’t love that?
Give The Cats Their Own Furniture
The easiest way to keep your cats out of your stuff is to give them something else that is more appealing. Your cats will think it’s their idea to occupy their own furniture, and your stuff will be safe. Win-win. There are dozens of options for attractive scratching posts and perches out there that can fit in with even the most haute couture of home decor. You can entice kitty to hang out there by sprinkling some catnip, or reward her for using it with her favorite cat treats.
Cats Are Gonna Cat – Let Them!
Scratching, climbing, and rubbing are all natural and healthy parts of cat behavior. It’s important to just accept that cats are going to be who they are. We never recommend declawing as a way to prevent this behavior. There are other methods of keeping your cat from scratching the things you don’t want scratched that do not harm your cats. One option is putting a thick double-sided sticky surface down on places you don’t want them to go. Cats hate the sensation of stickiness. Eventually, they’ll associate the place with that sensation and avoid it altogether. Another option for preventing unwanted clawing are Claw Covers. Claw Covers are made from flexible plastic and adhere to your cat’s claws, falling off as your cat’s claws shed naturally. They do require replacing as your cat’s nails shed but are a worthy investment to help keep your home harmonious and free of claw marks. Remember, you must trim your kitty’s nails before using Claw Covers. In fact, it is a good idea to trim your cat’s nails (or have them trimmed) every couple of weeks.
With a little forward thinking and planning, it is completely possible to set up your home to be cat-friendly. Follow our decorating tips to create a home that is beautiful—to you and your cat!